MadonnaTribe is happy to chat with Mrs Deborah Feingold, the multi talented photographer that signed one of the most popular photoshoots ever of the young queen of pop.
Commonly known as "the lollipop shots", Deborah's photos of young Madonna have been published for years on magazine covers and books worldwide and have become the testimony of the time when this young girl was determined "to rule the world".


MadonnaTribe: Hi Mrs Feingold, and welcome to MadonnaTribe.
You've been a photographer for the last 25 years, at what age did you realize it was going to be the job of your life?

Deborah Feingold: It just happened, was never something I had planned on.

MT: You began your career photographing Jazz performers.
What is the element of the Jazz world that attracted you and that you wanted to capture in your first photos?

DF: Jazz musicians changed the way I experienced life, they taught me the art of improvisation.
They showed me that there were no rules.

MT: Later you became chief photographer for Musician Magazine. What can you tell us about this experience?

DF: Was a gift! I was lucky enough to be encouraged to continue to break the rules and conservativeness of photography and portraiture.

MT: How would you describe your own "photo style"?

DF: I am committed to my subject, they are not objects in my photographs... they are the photographs.

MT: A photograph can capture a moment in time. Is there an element, a feel, you always make sure is present in your photos, so that they have that unique Deborah Feingold touch?

DF: I make sure that the subject enjoys the shoot. I am there to serve them, as silly as that might sound.


MT: Do you consider yourself mainly portraitist or do you also shoot still life, landscapes, architecture...

DF: Yes and yes!

MT: Your photos have been on the covers of hundreds of magazines, music albums and books around the world. Which the cover you are most proud of?

: Dire Straits "Brothers In Arms" and the movie poster for "Drugstore Cowboy".

MT: You had under your lens literally hundreds of celebrities, entertainers, politicians.
Which was the most difficult person to work with and most easy going?

DF: Billy Idol was probably the most challenging other than that I find most people to be easy to deal with.


MT: For a woman photographer, is working with female entertainers easier than working with male stars or vice versa?

DF: Comes down to the subject - not the gender.

MT: Among the many celebrities you photographed there is of course Madonna.
You did what is now considered a classic photoshoot with her in 1983.
Were you asked to do the photoshoot by Warners and for a specific project?

DF: I believe I requested the assigment from a magazine.

MT: What do you remember of the day you met that rising young star?

DF: It was shot in my studio/apartment. It was so tiny that all of my furniture folded up to make room for my shoots.
As I recall she was very easy going.

MT: Do you have any special memories or funny anecdotes from that day on the set?

DF: Not really, but as I look back on the images it does appear that she was quite

MT: Did you sense that day she was going to become not only one of the most popular entertainers on this planet but such a huge icon?

DF: Yes.

MT: Photos from that shoot, called by many fans the "lollypop pictures", have been featured on many magazine covers around the world and in many books about Madonna.
Do you have a personal favorite photo from those?

DF: Not really, but what I like is that there is a naivete about the pix. This was the beginning.

MT: It's funny, there's a photoshoot of yours with a very young Johnny Depp which
reminds me a lot of the session you did with Madonna. Aside from similar poses they both have a determinate look their eyes.... What do you think about that?

DF: They were both very confidant people.

MT: If you would have to do a new photoshoot with Madonna today what idea you think you would develop with her? Maybe something, a theme, that she hasn't tried yet.

DF: Wouldn't know the answer to that until I met with her.

MT: Many fans agree that the photographer that really took the best out of Madonna in terms of Iconic poses is without any doubts the late Herb Ritts. Did you know him personally?

DF: No, but I admired him greatly for preserving a classic photo style, pure and strong.

MT: In recent years you did a photoshoot with Cyndi Lauper, and artist we respect a lot, and that has been considered for many years by the press, a rival to Madonna.
Photos you took of her are featured in the booklet of her "The Essential Cyndi Lauper" album from 2003. How was working with her?

: I adore Cindi. She throws herself into whatever it is she is involved in.


MT: What are you working on at the moment?

DF: I have just returned from Scotland and I am working on images of castles that I did for the National Trust of Scotland.
Most of my work is photographing celebrity book covers. I just completed Mark Zupan's memoir. He was the main character in the documentary, "Murderball". I am shooting John Grisham later this month.

MT: You are one among the most famous woman photographers in the world, what advice would you give to a young person who dream to follow your footsteps?

DF: Don't give up for as long as you love what you do and wear comfortable shoes but funky tops!

MT: Deborah thanks a lot for sharing your time with us, it was great meeting you...

DF: Great questions, was a pleasure.


For more information about Deborah Feingold please visit her official website
Pictures courtesy of Deborah Feingold. All rights reserved.
This interview © 2006 MadonnaTribe

Submit News News Forum Interviews Magazine Features Tour Italia Email Madonna Tribe Back to Index